Lee Schmidt worked as an Indigenous rights lawyer at Grant Huberman in Vancouver before joining the Peter A. Allard School of Law in 2016 as the Associate Director of Indigenous Legal Studies Program. Schmidt was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2003 after completing her LLB at the law school at UBC, graduating as an alumnus of the Indigenous Legal Studies Program. Prior to her legal education, Schmidt received a diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria and a Native Adult Instructor Diploma (PIDP) from Okanagan University College. She also worked as a program officer, administrator, and instructor for the Sto:lo Nation in the areas of adult education and unemployment initiatives. Schmidt is of Cree-Metis and Dutch descent.
From 2003 to 2016, Schmidt actively represented Indigenous clients in treaty negotiations, consultation processes, land use planning, and cases concerning Aboriginal rights and title claims. She also represented residential school survivors in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), further demonstrating her commitment to Indigenous rights, reconciliation, and justice.
In 2018 Schmidt and fellow alumnus Patricia Barkaskas (Class of 2011) chaired the “Cultural Competency for Lawyers” course for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC). The course was a direct response to Call to Action #27 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which requires lawyers to obtain sufficient cultural competency training, including education on the history and legacy of residential schools, Indigenous legal traditions, conflict resolution, and anti-racist legal practice.
Schmidt, alongside Mandell Pinder LLP lawyers Cheryl Charvit and Stephen Mussell, coached the 2017/2018 Allard School of Law team for the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot. The moot helps law students develop a better understanding for Indigenous legal custom and practice, thereby honing the cultural competency skills of the next generation of lawyers.